Recap: The Walking Dead, S3.E6 — “Hounded”

“I thought it was … I made a deal with myself. I would keep you alive. I’d find a place. I would fix that.”
“Then, I couldn’t open that door. I couldn’t risk it. I was keeping you alive. Carl… the baby. There’s never this.”

Rick answers the phone

One of the best parts about writing these recaps has been connecting with other fans of the show. We do a lot of talking in the comments but occasionally I hear from people via text or email or on Facebook. Before I get into the (depressing) meat of this week’s episode, I wanted to address some of the questions and/or topics I’ve been asked to bring up.

What the hell is everyone drinking?

This season especially, it seems that life after the apocalypse is hardly the skin of the teeth, desperate scrounging for supplies every other post-apocalyptic tome tries to paint it as. Especially in Mayberry, you can get beer, whiskey, bottled water, tea – I’m sure they just haven’t gotten around to showing the organic smoothie stand yet. Part of that is to help paint the illusion of safety – here’s the place where you will want for nothing! – but it's so free flowing as to almost boggle the mind. It's 10 months after the world went to shit. Where are they getting non-skunked beer from? Where’s the goddamn water supply? There’s no rationing, we have to assume they can’t get any further out of the area than Rick’s group can, so hasn’t everything been picked clean yet? Shouldn’t a bottle of whiskey hold a little more importance in everyday life?

To be fair, maybe it holds a little more importance in every day life if you’re not as pretty as Andrea is.

Why is everyone’s hair so shiny?

This is one of those things that, along with the beverages, I should just let go as a completely ridiculous nitpick. But every week that goes by with Andrea’s perfectly coiffed hair and impeccable roots, and Maggie’s full tresses, and Carol’s unbelievably perfect pixie, these things grow more noticeable. With the exception of Rick’s sweaty murder-capade in the prison, mostly everyone looks like they don’t smell too bad. Like they get regular showers and someone has conditioner and they got the women doing laundry again. The guys apparently shave. Someone is mowing the lawn. In fact, post-Rick’s murder-capade, he shows up all clean and put together looking, in obviously fresh clothes that have no wrinkles. When did he have time to shower?

Two frames. 1) Picard meme captioned "Who the fuck has been cutting everyone's grass during the zombie apocalypse?" 2) Shot of neatly manicured grass.

Andrea has the kind of tan I can buy from someone who spent basically the last year living outside. I actually thought her deep tan was a nice touch – she’s outside all the time, she’s fair skinned, she got tanned. And then during her horizontal Governor mambo, we can see it’s a color that goes all the way to her toes. Where’s the goddamn tanning bed?

What the fuck is up with the passage of time?

Speaking about Carol’s hair, how much time has elapsed since the start of Season 3. Do you know? I don’t either. Hershel has his leg cut off, which apparently is no big deal, and is up and moving around unsupervised. Rick was told he was going to get a callback two hours after he finished stabbing his bloated walker in frustration and apparently within this time frame, got showered, changed, scrubbed the mechanical room free of all gore and the blood stains from where Lori died, scrubbed away the trail from her body being dragged, but left the dead walker sitting there. Also, Lori’s remains would have to have been buried within this same time frame or there’s two empty graves out in the yard and not just one.

This is the thing that’s hardest to overlook. I can magically handwave away invisible showers and gardeners, but I need to understand how time passes in the show to know how the storylines tie together.

Any other topics need raising? Let me know!

Hounded

So, the actual episode. Yet another solid outing for this new writing team – I’m really pleased with how they’ve pulled the show back together and really seemed to look at all the issues from last year. The emotional parts feel more genuine. The story arcs seem more solid. The entire show just feels better thought out.

Carl and Daryl

Daryl brandishing a crossbow, Carl and Oscar brandishing guns.
Daryl seems to really have taken to this makeshift family. On a walkthrough with Oscar and Carl, Daryl reaches out to the boy, telling him the story about how his own mother died. It’s an obvious big brother moment, trying to let Carl know he’s not alone. While Carl opens up to him like Daryl wanted him to, the expression on the boy’s face at the end of the sad story is frighteningly blank. Your mom died in a fire? Oh, well, I just shot mine in the face while she was still alive.

On their patrol, they pass a doorway that’s banging open and shut. Oscar wants to handle whatever is inside that they "missed" on their last patrol, but Daryl leaves it, looking for more dangerous foes. When he finds it, he also finds Carol’s knife stuck it its throat.

The scene of Daryl psyching himself up to open that banging door is phenomenal. He’s radiating pain, slamming her knife into the wall, looking for his courage. You can tell that he thinks he’s either going to have to kill Zombie Carol or find her eaten body on the other side of that door, and it drives home just how much he cares for her. Allowing him to simply find her in the closet without playing to overdone romantic gestures – a him saving her, a big romantic kiss – seems so true to the world and the character. He might love her – he does, though in what way seems up for debate – but he’s not the showy sort.

 Daryl carries Carol in his arms.

Carol’s alive, y’all!

Maggie and Glenn and Merle and Michonne

Merle in the woods, aiming a handgun
Just like Michonne predicted, no one gets to leave Mayberry alive. Merle and his hunting party are hot on her tail. They catch up with each other twice – once he manages to wound her, and the second time she accidentally stumbles into the great discovery from season one – zombies can’t sense you if you smell like their guts.

Merle hunting Michonne leads to him finding Glenn and Maggie on a supply run, which leads to Merle showing his asshole nature by taking them both hostage after pretending to be a good ole boy. This in turn leads Michonne to picking up an abandoned basket of baby formula and hoofing it out to the prison in hopes of finding some help. Maybe if she wasn’t shot she might not have bothered, but it’s a nice underscore to how rotten she knew Mayberry was. It’s not that she can’t trust or rely on others. It’s that she has a well developed sense for bullshit.

I got that a lot of this was just set up for next week, but I found it all very satisfying.

Andrea and Philip

They totally bump uglies.

 Andrea and Philip kiss

There’s nothing that happens in Andrea’s story this week that disavows me of the notion that she gets treated and expects to be treated better because she’s an attractive blonde white woman. It’s hardly a punishment to be taken off wall duty for being an impulsive hot head if in the next scene you’re boning the guy who "punished" you.

Rick

Oh, Rick. Last week there was a measure of unsurity in the nature of the phone call he received. If we can buy that zombies are overrunning the earth and a group of survivors set up Andy Griffith in the middle of it, why couldn’t there be a secret stash of survivors calling numbers at random looking for other people who are still living?

Rick clutches onto this thread as he’s unwinding. He’s breaking down, unable to care for his people, unable to protect his wife. This is the brink he’s been on since last year. When he goes over it, his psyche makes him confront it by taking a phone call from Lori. He has to talk about loving her and losing her, and his fears, and she tells him what he knows already – he has to keep going on. He has a baby and a son and a family that needs him.

I thought that these scenes, especially the concluding part, were really beautiful. The calls had a creepy otherworldly tinge to them. Andrew Lincoln confirmed that it really was Lori on the other end of the call and that they were on a live phone line, which lent a very convincing feel of authenticity. And every week, Andrew Lincoln just knocks it out of the park as Rick. I believe every twitch and tear and anguished cry that comes out of him is real. He just seems to get better and better.

Published by

[E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of powderroom.jezebel.com. You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at slay@persephonemagazine.com. She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

105 thoughts on “Recap: The Walking Dead, S3.E6 — “Hounded””

  1. I have been known to upset my cats by yelling at the television, "WHO WEARS WHITE AFTER THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?!"

     

    Because seriously, even if you have a collective of simpering housewives whose sole goal is to give you "a bit of stability" by washing your laundry and pretending everything's normal with fresh mint for the lemonade,  I can't even keep my whites from getting dingy pre-zombie-apocalypse. Does this mean I'm not cut out for survival? 

  2. Andrea and “The Govna’” “hookin’ up” totally made me sick.  She’s naïve and she’ll find out the grass isn’t greener on “easy street.”  There is a trade off that she will find distasteful (hopefully) or she will be forced over to the dark side, which doesn’t fit well for blonds.  Since I love the show so much, I have the previous seasons on DVD and I was telling my DISH coworker how expensive it is to buy them.  He suggested I get a Hopper DVR from DISH, since it has 500 hours of HD recording time, so I can store all of the shows from now on.  That’s exactly what I did and now I watch them multiple times, when previously I would have had to wait for the DVD to come out at the end of the season.

  3. I am really hoping the showrunners give the sole black male character more of a role and well-rounded personality. I hate that the internet has already dubbed him O-Dog but it really seemed like he was brought in in time just for T-Dog to die. Ugh, basically, this show sucks when it comes to equal representation.

     

    Fantastic pick-up on Andrea enjoying her priviledge by the way. I hadn't thought of that, and figured it was all just crappy writing.

  4. I'm hoping that Michonne gets to remain the Strong Silent Type since that's a role typically played by men. In addition, the actress playing Michonne has an incredibly expressive face (her pleading eyes at the fence were so eloquent), so it would be nice to let her display that. 

    I know there is a lot of Andrea hate out there right now, but really, the things she has done are consistent with her character — her thrill-seeking, attraction to psychopaths, and unwillingness to listen to trustworthy sources if those sources prevent her from getting laid. Also, I couldn't agree more about Andrea getting treated better, and expecting to get treated better, because she is a blonde white woman, but she didn't get that special treatment from the other group. She's getting it in Mayberry because it is a throwback to the old world. That's a powerful reason for her to want to stay.

    It's a small quibble, but I wish they didn't have Daryl leave an enemy behind during the cell exploration. It was so out of character.

  5. Fucking Merle. I hope Daryl finds him and kicks his stupid ass. Daryl/Carol is great, and I knew they wouldn't kill her off-screen. Not for a show that likes its blood and gore so much.

    The women's hair and clothes have bothered me since day 1. Carol's haircut would need to be trimmed every 4-5 weeks, at most. Andrea's waves? Did they raid a Sally's Beauty Supply? And you're right, none of them look like they smell as bad as they should. Their clothes, generally, aren't stained beyond recognition, and don't think we don't notice that somehow these chicks got concealer and mascara and lip gloss somewhere.

  6. I didn’t even make the connection that Daryl was psyching himself up in case it was zombie Carol behind the door but it makes total sense. I was thinking he was upset after telling the story about his mom and how nothing was left and how it was true for all the people they’ve lost recently as well. 

  7. I like Andrea. I've liked her since the first season. However, I hate what they're doing to her character and it makes it really hard for me to continue to like her.

    Does anyone know if it's like this in the comics? I was led to believe that she was a fierce, badass character in them. I don't know why that's not translated to the screen.

  8. I was so happy to see Carol. When they first walked by the door, I wondered if it was her weakly calling for help. It wasn't till Daryl was working up to opening the door that I thought "Oh crap, I hope that's not zombie Carol." 

    Rick with the baby was awesome, and Michonne's eyes saying "I'm not dead yet, please let me in" were amazing. 

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